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It’s A Question Of ‘Character’

This article is more than 5 years old.

This program was originally broadcast on April 20, 2015.

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks opines regularly, generally moderately conservatively, for the paper. He comments on the news for NPR. And every few years, he comes out with a book on American life and times and culture. This time out he’s writing about your moral character, and his own. We’ve become slaves to the resume and the ultimately frivolous, says Brooks. Feathering our nests and forgetting our character. It’s time for him, and maybe for you, to go deep. To try to actually be good, maybe even inspiring. How do you do that? This hour On Point:  David Brooks on the road to character.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guest

David Brooks, op-ed columnist for the New York Times. Regular commentator for PBS News Hour, NPR's All Things Considered and NBC's Meet the Press. Author of the new book "The Road to Character." Also author of "The Social Animal", "Bobos In Paradise" and "On Paradise Drive." (@nytdavidbrooks)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: When Cultures Shift — "We now live in a world in which commencement speakers tell students to trust themselves, listen to themselves, follow their passions, to glorify the Golden Figure inside. We now live in a culture of the Big Me, a culture of meritocracy where we promote ourselves and a social media culture where we broadcast highlight reels of our lives. What’s lost is the more balanced view, that we are splendidly endowed but also broken."

NPR News: Take It From David Brooks: Career Success 'Doesn't Make You Happy' — "The day after Japan surrendered in 1945, and World War II ended, singer Bing Crosby appeared on the radio program Command Performance. 'Well it looks like this is it,' he said. 'What can you say at a time like this? You can't throw your skimmer in the air — that's for a run-of-the-mill holiday. I guess all anybody can do is thank God it's over.'"

Christian Science Monitor: Why everyone is talking about the new book by David Brooks — "Dorothy Day led a life of drinking, carousing, and following her desires, until her daughter was born. Her focus shifted from herself to her daughter - and the rest of the world. 'She became a Catholic, started a radical newspaper, opened settlement houses for the poor and lived among the poor, embracing shared poverty as a way to build community, to not only do good, but be good,' Brooks writes."

Read An Excerpt Of "The Road To Character" By David Brooks

https://www.scribd.com/doc/262192979/Excerpt-from-The-Road-to-Character-By-David-Brooks

This program aired on May 25, 2015. The audio for this program is not available.

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